After a two-month absence, the Zambian Super League returns on SuperSport with a potentially explosive fixture involving old-timers Nkana and City of Lusaka going live from Woodlands Stadium on Saturday.
Like many leagues on the continent, the Zambian Super Division was in recess during the World Cup but it returns with an encounter expected to pull one of the best crowds this season.
While Nkana are not at their best (as was the case when the team won the league a record 11 times), the Kitwe giants continue to command the best local support in the country.
Their recent visit to the capital city against Nkwazi at Edwin Imboela Stadium attests to the popularity: the men in red and white enjoy countrywide and Saturday’s visit will not be an exception.
Certainly, a clash against City, one of the oldest teams in the league with a considerable base of passionate home fans, will give SuperSport viewers a good taste of Zambian football in this week 21 fixture kicking off at 4pm.
The two teams are still not at their best but their vociferous backers turn out in numbers to add colour to their matches.
Swinging in relegation zone in 16th place with 17 points, City must win to reignite hopes for survival. Victory against a resurgent Nkana, who have not lost in their last two matches, will grant City small relief.
City, identified by their black and white colours, have suffered a turn in fortunes, slumping from fourth finish last season to a relegation fight this year.
Coach Hector Chilombo was dismissed midway through the season before his successor, Alfred Lupiya, followed suit and the bells are ringing on Chris Tembo.
However, the combination of Lawrence Lubinda, Chomba Ngandwe, Chomba Sikazwe, Morgan Kaoma and Derrick Mulenga should provide comfort for home fans to expect a favourable result.
The troubles at City could be a blessing in disguise for Nkana to cement their stay in the Super Division by amassing maximum away points this weekend.
Placed seventh on 25 points after 20 matches, Nkana may not have a realistic chance of winning the title but are counting on a better finish.
Nkana coach Linos Makwaza, who recently took over from Benjamin Chilongo, is aware the Kitwe side had the better of City in the two team’s first meeting this season delivering a 4-2 win in mid-April.
Nkana’s expectant fans are seemingly not ready for anything less than victory after their team posted good results against Roan United last weekend.
With veteran Douglas Chiwaya playing a pivotal role in Nkana’s strides alongside Victor Mwansa, Mwila Kabwe and Evans Kangwa, Makwaza should be confident of a successful outing to Lusaka.
Also live on SuperSport’s latest African channel 209 is Sunday’s clash between Nkwazi and leaders Nchanga Rangers at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka.
Nkwazi and Rangers returned to the elite league last season and have not disappointed.
The police-sponsored Nkwazi are fifth on the table with 30 points, eight behind Rangers ahead of the fixture kicking off at 2pm.
Victory for the home side will temper Rangers’ hopes of a historic finish but the visitors are determined to seal their mission with a result to keep them at the summit of the log.
Catch all the Zambian league action on channel 209 on SuperSport.
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